Monday, June 6, 2011

THE ORDINARY CHRISTIANS' GUIDE TO CHURCH PLANTING Part 1: INTRODUCTION

LET ME JUST STATE VERY CLEARLY FROM THE BEGINNING!  

It is my firm conviction that the best people to start churches are ordinary Christians, with no special religious training, who are bold in their witness, indigenous to their target group
 and spends a lot time with Jesus! 

THEY ARE THE ONES WHO CAN BEST REFLECT THE GLORY OF GOD TO A LOST AND 
DYING COMMUNITY.

These are the kind of men that Jesus chose to be His disciples and to become His apostles.  These are the kind of people that God has used throughout the centuries to spread the Kingdom of God.  These are the individuals that God used in Southern Baptist life to start churches that caused them to become the largest protestant denomination in North America.  These are the kind of men that God used in the 70's during the Jesus Movement  to start some of the largest churches we have today in North America.  And this is the kind of person that God is still choosing to use that will ignite a new church planting movement throughout North America at this very hour!

ORDINARY PEOPLE USED BY AN  EXTRAORDINARY GOD 
TO START AMAZING CHURCHES!

In cooperation with what I see God doing I write this blog series.  This is a blog NOT for:
  • the trained professional ministers who have spent countless hours in study and preparation to do the work of ministry from some seminary or Bible college, 
  • or the Christian who is looking for some nice devotional material on missions to meditate upon,
  • or the academic theologian who wishes to debate the theological implications of church planting!
No!  This is for those ordinary Follower of Christ who is sensing God's leadership to become actively involved in His mission by starting a new church.  This series of blogs is intended to encourage the People of God  to have the faith that God can do anything, through anybody, including them, and even if that means starting a new church.  I am writing this blog to take away the mystery and mystic surrounding church planting.

 THIS BLOG SERIES IS FOR YOU 
THE ORDINARY CHRISTIAN!

It is my prayer that two things will develop as a result of these blogs:
  1. First that you the ordinary Follower of Christ and others just like you all over North America will begin to sense God's leadership in starting a new church and that an army of  ordinary church planters will be raised up, trained up and unleashed into the church planting fields of North America.
  2. Second, that this army of ordinary christian church planters will ignite Church Planting Movements throughout the urban centers of North America unlike the world has ever seen before.
So before I get started in writing the other blogs, that actually give more of the "how to's" of church planting, I need to share what I mean by a church planter.  I do not believe that the term Church Planter is necessarily synonymous with Pastor or Elder.  There have been many people who have started churches that were not pastors nor every became a pastor.  A church planter is one who knows how to reach people for Christ and gather them together to form a body of believers under the Lordship of Christ.  That doesn't mean they are the one who will sit down and deliver a sermon or teach a Bible lesson.  So regardless of your personal theological position of women pastors or women in ministry a woman could be a church planter.  There have been many great churches started by some amazing and ordinary pioneer women who never preached a single sermon from a pulpit or a taught Bible lesson to a man.  These churches later would called a pastor to come shepherd them.  I personally am very conservative in my theological view points in this matter but I have no problem whatsoever when it comes to women starting/planting churches.  So quite literally this blog series is for all people who claim to have faith in Jesus Christ and a growing, vibrant relationship with Him.

So let's see if you could be part of this new breed of church planters that God is raising up in North America.  Answer yourself the following questions:
  1. Have you personally, by faith, repented from your sins, believe that Jesus died on the cross for your sins, raised back to life three days later and confess Jesus to be the Lord of your life?
  2. Do you have a vibrant and growing relationship with Jesus where Christ is living His life through you and you are resting in His completed work in you?
  3. Do you believe that God can do anything, through anybody, including you?
  4. Are you passionate about actively participating in Christ's mission of discipling the nations (every ethnic group)?
  5. Are you willing to go whereever Christ leads and to whomever He leads even if they are pretty undesirable people?
  6. Are you willing to gather these people into your home for Bible Study, worship and prayer?
  7. And finally, are you teachable, faithful and humble?
If you can answer "YES" to these questions congratulations!
YOU CAN BE A CHURCH PLANTER


If you are willing to come with me on this journey in starting a new church I would ask you to commit to a few things:
  • First at the end of this initial blog leave a comment that says, "I'M IN!" With your name and place where you live.  I ask this because I wanting to pray for you along with my DREAM TEAM/PRAYER WARRIORS as you plant this new church.  Having people committed to praying for you in this spiritual endeavor is absolutely essential.  I have over 300 people who are committed to praying for me as I start a new church in Tucson, AZ called The Fellowship Of The Cross and for Church Planting Movements throughout North America.  So please leave that information.
  • You will have ASSIGNMENTS to complete.  Each new blog will build off the previous blog so it is essential that you complete each assignment.  Please don't try to skip an assignment and just move on.  To do so is a plan to fail.  You will be asked to share what you did in your assignment as a "COMMENT" at the end of each post.
  • Daily pray for all those who say, "I'M IN" because we are going to become a FELLOWSHIP OF CHURCH PLANTERS storming the gates of hell and we will need the encouragement that each of us can provide.
So here it goes, that competitive part of my nature is coming out in me! 
How many of you will accept the challenge of starting a new church this next year?  

I DARE YOU!  I DOUBLE DARE!  

If you accept the challenge you will be utterly amazed what God will do through you!!  Here we go!  The journey has now begun!

SO WHO'S IN?

SHARE THIS POST